Below you will find answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs),
which are organized under the following headings:

1. How does CIPF help investors?


CIPF provides limited protection for property held by a member firm on behalf of an eligible client, if the member firm becomes insolvent. CIPF member firms are members of the New Self-Regulatory Organization of Canada (New SRO) that are: (i) investment dealers and/or (ii) mutual fund dealers that are not located exclusively in Québec. Please click here for a list of CIPF Investment Dealer member firms and here for a list of CIPF Mutual Fund Dealer member firms.

If you have an account with a member firm, and that firm becomes insolvent, CIPF works to ensure that any property being held for you by the firm at that time is given back to you, within certain limits. Client property that is eligible for CIPF protection includes securities and cash, but excludes crypto assets. In certain circumstances, CIPF's role may involve requesting the appointment of a trustee in bankruptcy.

CIPF protection is not available to customers for mutual fund dealer accounts located in Québec. A mutual fund dealer account is considered to be located in Québec for the purposes of CIPF coverage if the office serving the customer is located in Québec.

However, CIPF does not guarantee the value of your property. Find out more about what CIPF does and does not cover here.

2. How do I get CIPF coverage and how much does it cost?

If you have an eligible account with a member firm that is used solely for investing in securities or in futures contracts, you’re automatically eligible for coverage. And because CIPF is funded by its member firms, you do not pay a fee for CIPF protection.

CIPF protection is not available to customers for mutual fund dealer accounts located in Québec. A mutual fund dealer account is considered to be located in Québec for the purposes of CIPF coverage if the office serving the customer is located in Québec.

Please note that crypto assets held by a member firm on behalf of a client are not eligible for CIPF coverage.

3. Are non-residents of Canada protected by CIPF? What about non-Canadian citizens?

Yes, non-residents and non-citizens are eligible for coverage. CIPF protection does not depend upon the residency or citizenship of the customer.

4. I have accounts with more than one CIPF member firm. Is my protection shared over all of the member firms?

No, your protection is not shared. If you have accounts at different member firms, you have separate CIPF protection for the property being held on your behalf by each firm.

5. Is CIPF’s protection the same as CDIC’s?

No, CIPF’s protection is not the same as CDIC’s (Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation).

  • If you have cash deposited in a Canadian bank, and the bank fails, CDIC coverage may apply.
  • If you have cash and/or securities in your account with an investment dealer or mutual fund dealer that is a CIPF member firm, and the firm fails, CIPF coverage may apply. CIPF may also protect other property held in your account with a CIPF member firm.
  • CIPF ensures that the property in your account (for example, your 100 shares in Bell Canada) is returned to you if the member firm becomes insolvent, within certain limits. However, CIPF does not guarantee the value of the property in your account. All coverage provided by CIPF is subject to the  CIPF Coverage Policy, as determined by the Board of CIPF from time to time. Find out more about what CIPF does and does not cover here.

6. Are cash balances and securities held by a member firm for a client both eligible for CIPF coverage?

Yes. If the member firm becomes insolvent, CIPF’s role is to ensure that cash balances, securities and other property the firm is holding for its clients are returned to them, within certain limits. However, crypto assets held by a member firm on behalf of a client are not eligible for CIPF coverage. CIPF also does not guarantee the value of the securities.

7. Are cash balances and securities denominated in a foreign currency eligible for CIPF coverage if they are held by a member firm for a client?

Yes. If the member firm becomes insolvent, CIPF’s role is to ensure that cash balances, securities and other property the firm is holding for its clients are returned to them, within certain limits. However, CIPF does not guarantee the value of the securities. Any claim to CIPF for missing property that is denominated in a foreign currency would be converted into Canadian funds, using the exchange rate in effect on the date of the member firm’s insolvency.

Crypto assets held by a member firm on behalf of a client are not eligible for CIPF coverage.

CIPF protection is also not available to customers for mutual fund dealer accounts located in Québec. A mutual fund dealer account is considered to be located in Québec for the purposes of CIPF coverage if the office serving the customer is located in Québec.

8. Does CIPF protect the value of my GICs (guaranteed investment certificates)?

No, CIPF does not protect the value of your GICs. If you have an account with a CIPF member firm, and the CIPF member firm becomes insolvent, CIPF works to ensure that any property (including GICs) being held for you by the firm at that time is given back to you, within certain limits. CIPF does not guarantee what the GIC will be worth.

We are often asked about insurance offered by the CDIC (Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation) on these types of investments. CIPF is not related to the CDIC. For more information about the CDIC, and whether your investment qualifies for CDIC deposit insurance, contact the CDIC at 1 (800) 461-2342 or refer to their website at www.cdic.ca. Please note that CIPF member firms are not the same as CDIC member institutions.

9. I hold shares of Company X in my account with a CIPF member firm. Company X is now bankrupt. I still own these shares, but they have minimal value. Does CIPF protect me against this type of loss?

No. CIPF does not protect you from a drop in the value of investments for any reason.

10. My broker misled me into thinking the securities he recommended were safe and protected by CIPF. Now my firm (which is a CIPF member firm) and the entities that issued my investments are insolvent, and I have lost a significant amount of money. Can CIPF help me?

No, CIPF cannot help you to recover losses arising from misleading information or investments in entities that become insolvent.

CIPF’s mandate is limited to ensuring that property held in your account with a member firm at the time of insolvency is returned to you, within certain limits. If you had 100 shares in your account at the time of your broker’s insolvency, and the 100 shares were returned to you but lost some or all of their value, that loss of value is not covered by CIPF.

Other types of losses not covered by CIPF include those resulting from the following:

  • fraudulent or other misrepresentations
  • a lack of information
  • unsuitable investments

Find out more about what CIPF does and does not cover here.

11. Are ETFs (exchange traded funds) eligible for CIPF coverage?

Yes, if the ETF securities are held by a member firm on behalf of an eligible client, the client’s ETF securities are protected by CIPF.

Investing in an ETF gives an investor “units” or “shares” in the fund. If the member firm holding your ETF units or shares becomes insolvent, CIPF’s role is to ensure that the ETF units or shares being held by the member firm for you are returned to you, within certain limits. However, CIPF does not guarantee or protect the value of your ETF investment.

Please see the glossary on this website for more information about exchange-traded funds.

12. Are mutual funds eligible for CIPF coverage?

Yes, if the mutual fund securities are held by a member firm on behalf of an eligible client, the client’s mutual fund securities are protected by CIPF.

Investing in a mutual fund gives an investor “units” or “shares” in the fund. If the member firm holding your mutual fund units or shares becomes insolvent, CIPF’s role is to ensure that the units or shares being held by the member firm for you are returned to you, within certain limits. However, CIPF does not guarantee or protect the value of your mutual fund investment.

CIPF protection is also not available to customers for mutual fund dealer accounts located in Québec. A mutual fund dealer account is considered to be located in Québec for the purposes of CIPF coverage if the office serving the customer is located in Québec.

Since investors can purchase mutual fund securities directly from the mutual fund itself, these securities may be held by the mutual fund for the investor. In this situation, where a CIPF member firm is not holding these securities on behalf of a client, CIPF coverage does not apply.

Please see the glossary on this website for more information about mutual funds.

13. I am a client of a CIPF member firm and am enrolled in the firm’s securities lending program. Which, if any, of my fully paid securities are eligible for CIPF coverage?

Your fully paid securities that are lent under the CIPF member firm’s fully paid lending program are not eligible for CIPF coverage. However, any fully paid securities not lent and held at the member firm, as at the date of insolvency of the member firm, are eligible for CIPF coverage. Find out more about what CIPF does and does not cover here.

14. What is the limit on the amount of coverage?

For an individual holding an account or accounts with a member firm, the limits on CIPF protection are generally as follows:

  • $1 million for all general accounts combined (such as cash accounts, margin accounts and TFSAs), plus
  • $1 million for all registered retirement accounts combined (such as RRSPs, RRIFs and LIFs), plus
  • $1 million for all registered education savings plans (RESPs) combined where the client is the subscriber of the plan.

See What are the Coverage Limits? and the CIPF Coverage Policy for more information.

15. How do the CIPF protection limits work for property held in joint accounts?

If you have a joint account, unless otherwise evidenced in writing, your proportionate interest in the account will be presumed to be equal to that of the other person or people with an interest in the account. You would have CIPF protection for your proportionate interest in the joint account up to the limit that applies to all of your general accounts combined. The limit of coverage on all of your general accounts combined is $1 million.

16. The CIPF member firm that I have an account with told me that my account has “excess CIPF coverage”, over and above that offered by CIPF. How does that work?

Some member firms purchase private coverage to provide their clients with protection over and above protection provided by CIPF. It does not impact eligibility for CIPF coverage. Consult your account representative at your member firm for more information about any additional coverage your account may have.

17. I have two RRSP accounts at the same CIPF member firm. Each plan has a different trustee. Are these accounts combined for CIPF coverage purposes?

Yes. All of your registered retirement accounts at the same firm are combined for purposes of determining the limit of CIPF coverage. The limit of protection for property in these accounts is $1 million.

18. What are the limits of CIPF protection if I have securities worth $1.5 million in my RRSP account, my spouse has securities worth $1 million in his or her RRSP account and we have $50,000 in cash and GICs in a joint non-registered general account?

Assuming that you and your spouse qualify for coverage, and these accounts are held with a member firm that has become insolvent:

  • You would have protection of up to $1 million for any securities that were missing from your RRSP account, and your spouse would have protection of up to $1 million for any securities that were missing from his or her RRSP account.
  • You would each have protection for your 50% interest in the joint account up to the limit that applies to general accounts. For each of you, the limit of coverage on all of your general accounts combined is $1 million.

19. What if my account is a margin account and I owe money to the CIPF member firm. Am I still protected?

Yes, but the amount of your claim for any missing cash, securities or other property held in your account at the date of insolvency would be reduced by the amount of the cash, securities or other property you owe to the member firm.

20. Are tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) held for a client at a member firm covered by CIPF?

Yes. A TFSA is eligible for CIPF protection. It is considered a general investment account for CIPF coverage purposes. The limit of coverage on all of your general accounts combined is $1 million.

21. What are the CIPF member firms, and how can I confirm that I am dealing with one?

CIPF member firms are members of the New Self-Regulatory Organization of Canada (New SRO) that are: (i) investment dealers and/or (ii) mutual fund dealers that are not located exclusively in Québec. Please click here for a list of CIPF Investment Dealer member firms and here for a list of CIPF Mutual Fund Dealer member firms. 

CIPF protection is not available to customers for mutual fund dealer accounts located in Québec. A mutual fund dealer account is considered to be located in Québec for the purposes of CIPF coverage if the office serving the customer is located in Québec.

22. I believe the firm holding my account is a CIPF member, but I can’t find them under the list of current member firms on this website.

Member firms sometimes market themselves under names other than their legal entity name, which is why you may not recognize them on the list. If the legal entity name of your investment dealer or mutual fund dealer is not on your statement, please check with your account representative at the firm. If you are unable to access the list of member firms on the CIPF website, please call CIPF at (416) 866-8366 or toll free at 1 (866) 243-6981.

23. I have an account with an affiliate of a CIPF member firm. Does CIPF coverage apply to my investments in this account?

Not necessarily. Accounts with entities other than a member firm, including a member firm’s affiliates, are not covered by CIPF unless the affiliate itself is also a member of CIPF.

24. The portfolio manager that manages and provides advice on my investments is not a CIPF member, but the investment dealer holding my investments is a CIPF member. Does CIPF coverage apply if my portfolio manager becomes insolvent?

No, CIPF does not cover losses arising from the insolvency of your portfolio manager. You should contact the securities regulator in the province or territory in which your portfolio manager is located.

In your case, the investment dealer has an arrangement to provide custody and trading services to your portfolio manager and its clients. Although you are a client of both the portfolio manager and the investment dealer, CIPF coverage applies only if the investment dealer becomes insolvent, not the portfolio manager.

25. If my member firm is insolvent, who should I contact for information about my account?

You should contact the trustee in bankruptcy or other insolvency official who has been appointed by a court to administer the insolvent firm. A trustee in bankruptcy is a person or corporation licensed by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada to administer bankruptcy proceedings. More information relating to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada can be obtained on the Government of Canada website at www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/bsf-osb.nsf/eng/home. In most cases, the court will appoint an insolvency official to administer the affairs of an insolvent member firm.

If your member firm is insolvent and you don’t know who the insolvency official is, you may contact the New Self-Regulatory Organization of Canada, which is the organization that regulates investment dealers and mutual fund dealers in Canada.

CIPF protection is not available to customers for mutual fund dealer accounts located in Québec. A mutual fund dealer account is considered to be located in Québec for the purposes of CIPF coverage if the office serving the customer is located in Québec. Please contact Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).

26. How is a trustee in bankruptcy or other insolvency official selected?

The appointment may be done at the request of the insolvent firm itself, certain creditors of the insolvent firm, or others. In certain circumstances, the appointment can be made at the request of CIPF. Depending on the circumstances of the insolvency, an insolvency official may be a trustee in bankruptcy, a receiver, a liquidator, a monitor, or other court-appointed official.

27. If a member firm is insolvent, what is CIPF’s role?

CIPF provides limited protection for property held by a member firm on behalf of an eligible client, if the member firm becomes insolvent. If you have an account with a member firm, and that firm becomes insolvent, CIPF works to ensure that any property being held for you by the firm at that time is returned to you, within certain limits. Client property that is eligible for CIPF protection includes securities and cash, but excludes crypto assets. CIPF also does not guarantee the value of your property. Find out more about what CIPF does and does not cover here.

CIPF protection is also not available to customers for mutual fund dealer accounts located in Québec. A mutual fund dealer account is considered to be located in Québec for the purposes of CIPF coverage if the office serving the customer is located in Québec.

CIPF’s role may include, in certain circumstances, requesting the appointment of a trustee in bankruptcy.

28. How is client property returned to clients if a member firm becomes insolvent?

When an insolvency of a member firm occurs, CIPF works with the trustee in bankruptcy (if one is appointed) to return any property that was being held for clients by the member firm at the date of its insolvency as quickly as possible. Since the insolvent firm can no longer carry on the function of holding property for its clients, it is generally necessary to transfer this function to another firm. As a result, client accounts may be moved to another member firm so that clients can access their accounts.

If a trustee in bankruptcy is appointed by a court, this trustee will typically be responsible for transferring client accounts to a new solvent firm. If an insolvency official other than a trustee in bankruptcy is appointed by a court, this official will often be given the responsibility of transferring client accounts to another solvent firm.

CIPF protection will apply if the property being held on a client’s behalf is not available to be returned to the client. Certain limitations apply. Please see What Does CIPF Cover? for more information on what is covered and not covered.

CIPF protection is also not available to customers for mutual fund dealer accounts located in Québec. A mutual fund dealer account is considered to be located in Québec for the purposes of CIPF coverage if the office serving the customer is located in Québec. Please contact Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).

29. My account statement shows that the securities in my account are held in segregation. Will those securities be returned to me in the event of the insolvency of the CIPF member firm?

Not necessarily. It is possible that those securities will not be available to be returned to you if the member firm becomes insolvent. The particular circumstances of insolvencies can vary widely. For example, one of the laws that may apply to an insolvency of an investment dealer or a mutual fund dealer in Canada is Part XII of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada). If Part XII applies, all client cash and securities held by the insolvent firm for its clients at the time of bankruptcy, other than customer name securities (registered in the customer’s name), would be included in a single customer pool”. Any “shortfall” of client cash or securities would be allocated proportionately from the customer pool across all clients after payment of bankruptcy administration costs.

CIPF protection will apply if the property being held on a client’s behalf is not available to be returned to the client. Certain limitations apply. Please see What Does CIPF Cover? for more information on what is covered and not covered.

30. How do I make a claim to CIPF?

The information required to make a claim to CIPF is available from the CIPF website, or upon request to CIPF.

You must submit a proof of claim to CIPF within 180 days of the date of insolvency along with all documents and information to support the claim. If a trustee in bankruptcy is appointed by a court to manage the affairs of the member firm where you have an account, you may submit your claim form along with the supporting documentation to the trustee in bankruptcy, instead of CIPF. If no trustee in bankruptcy is appointed, the claim can generally be made directly to CIPF.

For more information, please refer to the CIPF Claims Procedures.

31. What should I do if I have a complaint about my investment dealer?

Your first course of action should be to contact your firm’s compliance department. If they cannot resolve the issue, contact the New Self-Regulatory Organization of Canada (New SRO), who is the national self-regulatory organization that regulates investment dealers and mutual fund dealers in Canada. CIPF is not a regulator and has no authority to investigate or regulate its member firms. If your matter relates to an investment dealer firm, you can contact the IIROC division of the New SRO at 1-877-442-4322 or [email protected].

If your matter relates to a mutual fund dealer firm, you can contact the MFDA division of the New SRO at 1-888-466-6332 or [email protected]. If you are not sure, you can contact either IIROC or MFDA division and they will ensure your complaint is directed to the right place.

You may also consider contacting the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (also known as OBSI) for assistance at (416) 287-2877 or 1 (888) 451-4519, or [email protected].

Member firms shall be required to comply with all provisions of the [new] CIPF Disclosure Policy no later than December 31, 2024 (other than firms granted membership on or after January 1, 2023, who shall be required to comply with all provisions of this Policy upon the earlier of the date such membership is granted and June 30, 2023).

Until then, CIPF member firms must continue to comply with the disclosure requirements that were applicable to the CIPF member firm immediately prior to January 1, 2023 namely, the CIPF Disclosure Policy, effective February 10, 2021, or MFDA Rule 5.3.2(e) and MSN-0083. All references in a CIPF’s member firm’s disclosure, website and documentation to a predecessor of the former CIPF will be deemed to be a reference to the CIPF.

For FAQs on the CIPF Disclosure Policy, effective January 1, 2023, please click here.

For FAQs on the Former CIPF Disclosure Policy, effective February 10, 2021, please click here.

Have a Question? Just Ask!

ASK US

All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2023 CIPF

Please select your language of preference to continue

veuillez sélectionner votre langue de préférence pour continuer

Top of Page